The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office denied Max Moran’s first request to patent his brewing company as “Native Brewing.”
So, he settled on Indian Joe Brewing, according to U.T. San Diego reporter Edward Sifuentes, a craft brewery opened in September after decades of work on Moran’s part.
The name is a tribute to Moran’s uncle. Along with good quality craft beer, Moran argues the name will would help American Indian customers know that they were buying from a fellow American Indian, Sifuentes wrote.
Behind him on the (brewery) walls , Moran was surrounded by pictures of his ancestors, people from Pala and San Luis Rey. He said he grew up listening to stories about them from his great aunt, Louise Foussat, a tireless community advocate, educator and the namesake of Louise Foussat Elementary School in Oceanside.
The stories handed down to him included those of his great-great grandfather Honorato Garcia, who tended the vines at the Mission San Luis Rey and his passion for brewing beer. And uncle Willy “Indian Joe” Giddens, who was also a brewer long before Moran was born.
But it wasn’t until the 1980s when Moran’s own passion for brewing awakened.
At the time, Moran and his father worked as landscapers. One of their clients was a German man, who served them home-brewed beer and invited them to eat with him on the pretext of discussing work projects.
“He was more interested in seeing what we were going to say about his beer than what we were going to do,” Moran said with a smile on his face.
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Behind the bar, there are 21 different beers on tap, including Hefeweizen, American Indian Pale Ale and Russian Imperial Stout. Some of the beers are flavored with ingredients from local American Indian reservations, including orange peel, chia and sage.
All varieties of Moran’s beer are produced at the brewery, 26 gallons at a time.
Moran said many people have approached him about selling his beer in local restaurants and other businesses. But he said the small production system he has barely makes enough to keep up with the demands of the tasting room and he wants to be careful about expanding production.
“You have to crawl before you learn to walk,” Moran said.